A wha dat?

Many of us are familiar with the American phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So reading the Jamaica Gleaner, unfortunately one only has five words that come to mind when looking at their pictures online, “what the hell is that?”

You have to wonder if the Gleaner has professional photographers, or if they’re just too cheap to provide their photographers with camera equipment that can capture pictures which contribute to the story.  Or the original pictures are good and their webmasters are not concerned with the quality of pictures they post online in their stories.

As a test of whether I was being unfair to the Gleaner I used my cell phone camera (which is by no means high end) to take the following picture of the American flag at the New York Stock Exchange. I also took this picture of the NYSE flag in tribute to the Fourth of July.

As a side note for those of you think that living in foreign is easy, I’ve been having a running conversation with several people, and many of us agree that the square footage of that GIANT flag is bigger than the average Manhattan studio apartment.  Can you imagine paying $1000 US dollars a month for an apartment size of that flag? In New York that is known as a bargain.

But back to the topic at hand, can you imagine that the Jamaica Gleaner, a for-profit business enterprise, often uses photographs in its stories that look like they were shot a disposable digital camera from underwater? I can’t imagine that Winston Sill and their other photographers are using such low quality equipment, so why are the pictures on their site of such generally poor quality?

To their credit pictures which appear in the Observer and the Sunday Herald are all of the resolution and quality that is consistent with a newspaper website.

First Magazine (see OnlineMags link to your right) is without a doubt first in class on this one. Their galleries are exquisite and add great value to their stories, often communicating powerfully without text.

So here are some pictures from the Gleaner to make the point. Yes these are the original sizes, resolutions and pixels.

The last two pics, of immensely different quality are a stock image and AP photo respectively. Note the same microscopic size in the story as posted online though.


4 thoughts on “A wha dat?

  1. Talk about cherry-picking! Those are the good pictures! Did you see the one accompanying the story about the cops shot in Denham Town? How about the one featuring the quadruplets where it seems that the entire family was being swallowed by the couch, and the picture was clearly taken by a 70-year old relative with shaky hands would have taken with a polaroid camera? Ah just so we stay – quality is really not of interest to us.

  2. I love, love Peter Rickards’ work! His compositions are serious mind-fuck is you dwell on them long enough. Did you see the slaughterhouse series? Great stuff.

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